In Sunday afternoon's 3-2 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park, the rookie reached base safely four times with three hits and a walk, and was a key player in the game's most significant and bizarre play. A play in which the A's scored two first-inning runs on two Houston throwing errors.
"A little bit of a challenge today for him to lead off and see what he could do there," Melvin said. "He's really impressed us since he's been here."
Batting in the leadoff spot for only the second time with Oakland, Powell singled in the first, third and seventh and walked in the fifth.
"It's my spot, that's where I feel comfortable," Powell said. "I love being on the road and being the first hitter of the game, get things going. It felt good. Some of the hits were bloopers, but I'll take them."
The three hits marked a career high in his seven games with Oakland, batting .389 (7-for-18) since the trade.
"He did great," said shortstop Marcus Semien, who along with Powell was involved in the first-inning play that helped make a winner out of right-hander Jharel Cotton (6-10), who allowed just one hit over five innings and gave up only four hits over 6 2/3.
"He got on base anyway he could," Semien said. "He got some good at-bats, he got some pitches down in the zone and still was able to get hits. And he can run the bases really well."
It was Powell's speed that contributed to Oakland's two-run first.
Powell opened the game with a single off Brad Peacock. Semien followed with a single that shortstop Alex Bregman fielded in the hole. Because of Powell's speed, Bregman rushed the throw and threw wildly past second base, allowing Powell to score.
First baseman Marwin Gonzalez tracked down the errant throw and tried to nab Semien advancing to third base. Gonzalez's throw was also off target and Semien crossed the plate, giving the A's a quick 2-0 lead.
"It couldn't have worked better for us," Powell said. "It was great hustle by Marcus to get to third and [Gonzalez] overthrew third and he got home. It built momentum for us and made Cotton very confident on the mound."
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston.